1) caused by infection with hepatitis C virus 2) acute infection is usually subclinical 3) chronic infection occurs in 85-90% without treatment 4) only rarely causes fulminant disease (0.1%)
Signs and Symptoms
1) acute phase (if symptomatic) – anorexia, fever, fatigue; followed by jaundice 2) chronic phase – mostly marked by fatigue until end-stage cirrhosis occurs.
Characteristic Test Findings
Laboratory – 1) increased AST and ALT 2) increased bilirubin 3) antibodies to hepatitis C appear 30 days after infection 4) best test for diagnosis is hepatitis C RNA PCR